Jennifer CarrollComment

Beyond what I could think or imagine!

Jennifer CarrollComment
Saturday, 22 September 2012

Seven days ago Verda arrived in Nairobi to help facilitate Breastfeeding Support Program Kenya Peer Counselor Training, Breastfeeding Your Baby Lactation Educator Trainers Course and an outreach event in Kibera Slum Area for breastfeeding mothers.  Last Saturday I knew that the true successful of any of our effort was in God's hands.  I kept being reminded of the story of the boy with his basket of fish and loaves offering them to Jesus and experiencing the miracle of five thousand being fed.  Certainly this wasn't a "five thousand" size event, nevertheless I am the same as that small lad, offering such meager supplies to the Master.

This week has been soaked with blessing and miracles.

The number of participants and facilitators was ideal for both the training of peer counselors and new facilitators.  As I observed our new facilitators present for the first time I was amazed at their ability and ease with the material.  The participants were quick to learn and engaged in the process.  It was hard work but we all had FUN!

The final afternoon of training we had a practicum which allowed mothers to call our Breastfeeding Support Program Hotline.  They were referred to a peer counselor for support.  When the phone began to ring and our counselors had the opportunity to practice all they had learned the energy in the room skyrocketed!  I felt moved to tears as I watched and listened as they counseled by phone.  After they completed their first call successfully their confidence and courage increased.  They experienced the joy of freely helping another mother find solutions to her concerns about feeding her baby and fulfilling her role as a mother. 
We ended the event with a keen awareness of God with us and  working through us to pour out compassion on Kenyan mothers.

Friday, the Breastfeeding Your Baby Lactation Course was offered for midwives, doulas and others who have already had experience as breastfeeding counselors.  The ladies who attended the course brought such tremendous personal experience and knowledge that I wondered that we could all fit in the seminar room at one time!  The Breastfeeding Your Baby Course curriculum is designed to provide lactation education for expectant parents.  Each participant will take this training to their community and begin offering the course.  They will also serve as Breastfeeding Support Specialist for our Peer Counselors.  If a Peer Counselor needs extra help with a situation they encounter they can refer to our Breastfeeding Support Specialist.

Saturday morning Verda, Andy and I had the privilege to offer a breastfeeding support group in Kibera.  This is a very large slum area in Nairobi.  Two of our Kenyan friends arranged and hosted the event.  Eleven mothers and babies attended.  At the end of our time together the mothers requested more meetings!  Andy will be following up on this amazing opportunity to minister to mothers with great needs for support.  We plan to limit the size of support groups to 12 mothers.  This will allow us to really get to know those that participate.  When we have more than twelve we will begin another group.

I have never enjoyed a hot shower more than I did tonight when we arrived at my sister in laws house.  She and her husband also work here in Nairobi.  Seriously...a hot shower is such a blessing!

Verda will leave tomorrow evening for the US.  I have another week in Kenya.
Pray for me as I distribute more Nacham Blankets and Knitted hats for preterm babies.  My friend and colleague, Lydia left yesterday to return to Nakuru with Nacham blankets for distribution.  Today the first blanket was given to a bereaved family.  This blanket was given to a Kenyan father who lost his wife during the birth of his first child, a baby girl.  He will use the blanket to wrap around his daughter so she will remember her mother. God's compassion experienced in the comfort of a soft warm blanket.

I am convinced, nothing significant is ever accomplished alone and only God can work miracles!

A huge thank you to all of you!  You are a part of everything that has been accomplished this week!  I joyfully lift praise to the God of all power, glory and might, who is still working miracles in our every day lives!